# Autograph

Published by Eastmond Publishing

KS 3 & 4 (Years 9 -11)

Maths

### KS3 Content Evaluation by Peter Garner

**Overview**

Within Key Stage 3 the title can be used to teach: equations of a straight line; investigation of quadratic, reciprocal, cubic, conic curves; transformations in recto linear co-ordinate systems; and scattergraphs and lines of best fit.

From the above topics, it is possible to fully investigate all their properties and aspects without significant additional resources. Thus the students will be able to learn how to understand all the relevant information connected with these topics.

The software enables the student to instantly plot and dynamically alter constructions without recourse to the laborious pen and paper method, which can be de-motivating for below average ability students. The product was strongly intuitive to use within a classroom setting, students easily mastered its use and were able to understand functions previously unknown to the classroom teacher. The software was very effective in introducing the above topics, as well as practicing their implementation.

For a classroom teacher to be able to use the product effectively, they would need to have familiarity with the Microsoft office package and could familiarise themselves with the product itself after a few hours experimentation and reference to the supporting information.

**Installation**

The installation was conducted by the network manager, without reportable difficulty. When the class used the product there was no difficulty in accessing the software. There have been no discernible machine conflicts. There is no built in Uninstaller, but then I do not anticipate uninstalling the product.

**Content** *Curriculum Relevance*

The software allows the student at Key Stage 3 to fully investigate the full range of functions including linear and polynomial. It also enables the student to gain a good insight into the four transformations and how they can be used to alter simple two-dimensional shapes. It also can be used to investigate scattergraphs and the line of best fit that can be drawn to determine the extent of correlation. The facility of being able to vary an individual point, so as to be able to determine the overall effect on the correlation, was particularly helpful, as it is not possible using traditional resources.

*Design & Navigation*

The software is fundamentally a one-screen product like Windows, where you access the required functions by clicking on a button, or a drop down menu. There are some demonstration screens, which can be accessed from the menus. The student is straightaway presented with a set of Cartesian co-ordinates, which they will provide input for in the majority of lessons. There is a very limited introductory sequence, which is a part size picture of the product's sales picture this disappears as soon as you click anywhere on its surface. I found the onscreen help, which was similar in structure to a Microsoft help, to be personally useful and appropriate.

A student can readily save work they have created for future use in a subsequent lesson. The product readily enables virtually all forms of data to be graphed in a myriad of formats. The product's language is fairly limited, as a lot of the time the student is using icons to manipulate the graph plotting capability of the software. The product would need to be introduced for at least part of one lesson before students could independently produce work, or perform an analysis without teacher supervision.

*Ease of Use*

Once the student has been introduced to the package and had the relevant functions explained and demonstrated, preferably using an electronic white board, students of average, or above average ability should be able to work with minimal teacher support. For those with limited recall, or who lack confidence in using Information Technology, a reference sheet showing relevant toolbars might be helpful. The toolbar icons were generally found to be similar to those you would encounter in the Microsoft Office suite. My students had little difficulty in accessing previously saved work for subsequent use.

With some of the more adventurous and advanced students, I noticed that they were successfully experimenting with previously unknown toolbars to produce effective improvements. For example, early on I was uncertain as to how to label a straight line, but before the 35-minute lesson was completed, a student had successfully determined the correct method. I found the supporting information to be personally helpful, although it would be on limited direct benefit to a Key Stage 3 pupil.

*Special Needs*

I did not discover any facility for engaging an audio output, nor was there an apparent method for altering the size and colour of the limited amount of text that you encounter when using the software. The main type of student with Special Educational Needs that would benefit from the product is:

1. A pupil that had limited reading ability, especially if English was an additional language, as the icons have a pseudo-mathematical image to help convey their function.

2. A student with limited attention span, or similar limitation, would benefit from the fact that the software provided instant feedback and required less patience than the traditional pen and paper approach.

Courseware

Primarily the kind of exercises a Mathematics teacher would want to carry out with the product would need to follow the normal Scheme of Work for that class. There are a number of demonstration exercises that can be utilised though only a few of these are designed for Key Stage 3. The software does not mark the student's work, nor does it record the level of achievement of the student; it is primarily a sophisticated dynamic software that allows all forms of graphs to be plotted and statistics and probability to be illustrated. The product does come with a booklet that describes some 45 introductory exercises, of which almost half are suitable for a Key Stage 3 class.

**Conclusion**

The product is a very versatile, easy to use Mathematics tool that enables the student to gain deeper insight into some otherwise quite challenging Mathematics. It is a piece of software that the pupil should be introduced to at Key Stage 3 and that would then be able to utilise it to assist with GCSE and A-Level coursework.

Although it takes a little while to master, the investment in my opinion, was more than paid off by the increased motivation and understanding of my students.

Unlike other dynamic plotting programs I have used, Autograph has a much greater range of Curriculum applications. It also provides a ready facility for investigating statistical graphs and probability distributions.

### KS3 Classroom Evaluation by Peter Garner

**Summary**

During the trial period I introduced the students to the topic and how we would investigate it using the software. This case study will focus on the lessons, which investigated the equation of a straight line and how the position of the line is defined by its gradient and the y intercept. As this was the initial lesson, I had set up the electronic whiteboard so that I could demonstrate to the class how to input the equation of a straight line for subsequent investigation. Once this had been completed and the various questions the class raised had been answered, they were all directed to their individual workstations and expected to work through an exercise.

With this kind of work, the difficulty is always ensuring that the student has to be involved in the plotting process and is not just carrying out a sequence of instructions. Thus I ensured that the set work required a lot of descriptive and explanatory type answers. At the end of the lesson, I gathered the class around the whiteboard so as to go over what we had discovered.

**Teaching with this Product**

The key teaching objectives of the case study lesson were:

1. Plotting a straight line given its equation

2. Calculating the gradient and y intercept of a straight line and seeing how they relate to its equation

3. Demonstrating how an equation of a straight line varies, as either the gradient, or y intercept varies from positive to negative values.

The learning objectives relate to the students' understanding of the above principles, so that they would be readily able to derive a line's equation from it's plot.

In the last part of the lesson, the students were given a series of pre-plotted lines that had been generated using Autograph and were required to reproduce the same plot, having analysed each line to determine its characteristics. The students had already met the topic earlier in the year and thus we were using the product as a form of revision, so little preparatory work was required before the lesson began.

**Classroom Organisation**

For the lesson I initially seated the students within the horseshoe that our purpose designed computer suite is made up from. It gives me a chance to establish control of the class and remind everyone about rules of behaviour for the lesson. They were instructed to log on and access the software using the path specified on the electronic whiteboard. I circulated in a clockwise fashion to give assistance to those who were having difficulty.

The students were then required to observe the demonstration of the product that was then given on the electronic whiteboard. Those declining to be involved in this were given a pen and paper exercise to complete, instead of the dynamic software. This always ensures maximum focus from the class during the demonstration phase. I posed appropriate questions at students with various levels of attainment and then after issuing a worksheet with instructions, they were directed to work through the set tasks.

Throughout the lesson I then circulated, facilitating the progress of the students. When a common misconception arose this was dealt with centrally for the whole of the class, using the electronic whiteboard.

At the end of the lesson, the class was directed to focus on the electronic whiteboard and we then went through the exercise to see what had been discovered.

**Use of ICT to Achieve Objectives**

The product is able to meet the required teaching and learning objectives, as it enables the student to readily plot a comparative series of straight lines and make appropriate comparisons between them.

Key questions that should be asked of the class, relate to the gradient of the lines and what affect it will have if it is altered in size and sign. Similarly, the title enables the class to investigate the affect of altering the size and sign of the y intercept.

The traditional pen and paper approach requires a lot of tedious hand calculation and plotting of results, which can obscure the result of plotting the equation of a straight line. Many students do not fully get past the early stages of the exercise and do not get a chance to investigate the process sufficiently.

**Using this Product**

The product did not require the use of any additional software, but it did require that the students were familiar with the following:

1. Basic Network access skills i.e. log on protocol, use of Windows to locate and open an application

2. Confidence to use toolbars and drop down menus, as found in Word

3. Familiarity with save routines

**Monitoring & Assessment**

Apart from the normal monitoring of a student's work by inspection whilst walking the classroom, I found the best way to utilise the software to verify that teaching objectives had been met, was to set an exercise that required use of Autograph to resolve it.

For this particular exercise, I presented the students with a set of straight lines drawn using the program without their equation being given and required that they recreate an Autograph plot of these lines. The students were encouraged to first work out the gradients and y - intercepts of each line. They could then incorporate these in their equations and test them by plotting the lines using the product.

**Special Needs**

The software was found to be easy to access by those members of the class who have English as an Additional Language and suffer from Dyslexia. Also, because of the instant response to a pupil's input, those with emotional difficulties were much more able to work for longer and produce better work and gain a better understanding.

### KS3 Content Evaluation by Steve Genge

**Overview**

Autograph is a flexible tool designed to support teaching and learning in two areas of Mathematics - Graphs and Statistics. The Graphs section can be used in the teaching of Primary-level topics such as coordinates through to Secondary-level topics such as quadratic equations and beyond. The Statistics section uses single-variable grouped data and probability distributions.

The program can be used independently of other software to create dynamic models in order to hypothesise, test and prove generalisations. Used in conjunction with Microsoft Office, the program is a powerful tool in the preparation and presentation of project work and reports.

A wide range of support material and supplementary activities can also be found at the publisher's website.

**Installation**

The program was installed on a number of standalone computers without any apparent difficulties. Autograph could also be installed and uninstalled on the school network with relative ease.

**Content** *Curriculum Relevance*

Autograph allows students to plot graphs of linear or quadratic equations. It also enables them to see the effect on the graph of altering values within the equations. It can be used to model transformations of simple two-dimensional shapes. Autograph can be used to input data in order to represent statistical summaries graphically.

*Design & Navigation*

Autograph is essentially Windows-based point-and-click-software that utilises icons and drop-down menus to good effect. It is a major application with over 30 available tools to learn. The program comes with extensive 'Help' files and a range of tutorial demonstration screens. The Help files are invaluable to the teacher but require high levels of literacy and knowledge of technical mathematical vocabulary to be used effectively. Additional support and resources are easy to access online via the publisher's website at www.autograph-math.com. Telephone help is also prompt, friendly and efficient.

Students can save work to continue at a later date and export graphs into other applications such as Paint or Word to be used as part of published reports. Both these facilities are accessed via drop-down menus.

Because the program's tools are operated by clicking on well-designed icons, the program can be used by most students after some initial input from the teacher.

*Ease of Use*

The program is relatively easy to use after initial demonstration. When less confident students are experimenting with the options available from the toolbars the undo facility is most valuable. I also found that students benefited from saving their work at each stage. Students were able to discover and explain to each other how to solve basic problems such as re-scaling or changing pen colour. More able students were able to use the Help section to learn new skills, whereas most students learned by trial and improvement.

*Special Needs*

Pupils with EAL were able to access the software as well as any others. Pupils with limited reading ability were not able to make good use of the excellent Help files, but were able to use Autograph to good effect because of the well designed icons and drop-down menus. A few pupils thought that the text size was quite small. I did not find out if this could be changed. The biggest benefit of the software for low-abilty/SEN pupils is that they are able to generate professional-looking graphs at speed and can correct errors quickly without having to start all over again.

*Courseware*

The software includes 45 exercises that can be used to assess basic understanding. There are also links via the Autograph website to further assessments developed by teachers who have used the package.

Autograph is primarily a tool that can be used across a wide range of mathematical areas. As an assessment tool it has the advantage that pupils can demonstrate achievement far more quickly using it than by using pencil and paper methods.

*Conclusion*

Autograph is a flexible tool designed to support teaching and learning in Graphs and Statistics. It is a massive piece of software with applications across all areas of Mathematics at all Key Stages. It would be easy for teachers to be fooled by its apparent complexity into thinking it is only appropriate for more able GCSE students and Sixth-formers. Pupils of all ages and abilities can, after a short period of initial training from the teacher, access Autograph because of its clever use of toolbars and drop-down menus. Autograph is supported by valuable Help pages and the publisher's website. It is an excellent package for all schools.

### KS3 Classroom Evaluation by Steve Genge

**Summary**

I used the Autograph package as the main resource for teaching a low-ability group about linear equations. I felt that this program was a good choice, as it would allow me to inject pace and animation into a challenging topic for sometimes poorly motivated

students.

I was aware that the program could look quite daunting and the attention span of students was limited so I demonstrated the program to the group first before posing them problems to solve. The hard part for me was making sure that the students were in a position to use the program so that they could find out for themselves the characteristics and properties of equations that lead to straight-line graphs.

Autograph was an ideal tool for producing visual feedback in the plenary part of the lesson.

**Teaching with this Product**

I wanted the group to be aware of the properties and characteristics of equations of the form y = m x + c. Namely that the 'm' value is equivalent to the gradient of the graph and the c term is the intercept of the graph on the y-axis. I also wanted the group to see how a graph's characteristics changed if either the 'm' value or the 'c' term was altered.

I hoped that some of the more able students in the group could then go on to derive the equation for a straight-line graph, given a viewing of the graph on the Autograph program.

**Classroom Organisation**

For the initial demonstration lesson (actually the last 20 minutes of a lesson on another topic) I used a laptop computer with a portable whiteboard and projector. Pupils were shown how the toolbars and icons could be used to plot, alter and superimpose graphs onscreen. I concluded the lesson by inviting volunteers to try out the program by plotting a further two straight-line graphs. I needed to show at least some of the group how to save their work and more able members of the group to learn how to export graphs for use within Word, but decided to do this in the main lesson when most pupils would be busy investigating graphs and equations with the program.

For the main lesson, I quickly re-capped the main points of the program before dividing the class of 22 pupils into four groups. Each group had access to one standalone computer equipped with Autograph. Groups were given the equation y=2x+1 to plot. This was an equation that had been seen in a previous lesson and drawn on graph paper so that the pupils would have confidence in their use of the software by seeing a graph that they could confirm was correct. Having produced the graph theywere asked to vary the 'c' term by 1 and discuss the effect on the new graph. When they were confident about their ideasthey could move on and vary the 'm' value by 1 in the same way.

As the software and the activity motivated and engaged all the pupils I was free to move around and get involved in the discussions that ensued. One group was able to move on to export graphs into PowerPoint so that they could present their findings.

I had not expected the PowerPoint presentation to emerge, so if I was doing this lesson again (which I will) I will make sure the projector is available for this lesson.

In the plenary, groups displayed and discussed their findings to the rest of the class. Even though this is a lower-ability group, all the class made the connections between the equation and the gradient and intercept on the graph.

**Use of ICT to Achieve Objectives**

Autograph is an excellent tool because it gives the pupils a way of creating many linked graphs very quickly in such a way that comparisons are visually easy to make. It also has the advantage over pencil-and-paper methods in that mistakes are easy to correct without having to start all over again. It injects pace into an important activity that can be seen as boring by many students because it takes so long to produce graphs by hand.

Furthermore, because students can investigate so many equations in such a short period of time, they are more likely to 'discover' the connections unassisted.

**Using this Product**

Students needed to be familiar with basic point-and-click techniques involving the use of pull-down menus, toolbars and icons. It was advantageous to the more able students in the group to be familiar with the use of other applications including Word and PowerPoint for preparing reports and presentations.

Although this feature was not used in the case study, Autograph does include sections that connect to the Internet, so basic web navigation skills would be required by some users of the package.

**Monitoring & Assessment**

Most of what the group achieved could be assessed by observation. In fact, it was a delight to have time to observe pupils working independently. I did set a challenge where equations were plotted on a graph on the board and pupils were asked to re-create the same graph by deriving the equation from the shown graph. Pupils then simply told me the answer. There was no need, in my opinion, for a permanent record.

**Special Needs**

All pupils were able to access the software with ease. Some pupils made good use of the excellent help files. A couple of students described the text as 'difficult to see'. Pupils with EAL were able to use Autograph as well as any other members of the group. Pupils who often lack motivation were encouraged by the speed at which they could both produce a graph and, more importantly, correct a graph that had been constructed erroneously. All pupils really enjoyed using the software.

### KS4 Content Evaluation by Beth Evans

**Overview**

This package can support most graph topics and has a good Statistics section which unfortunately did not fit into the topics currently being studied. One of the most powerful features is its ability to draw graphs quickly and accurately, allowing the students to concentrate on the outcome, rather than the manual task of drawing the graph. Too often it is hard to judge whether the student has problems with the drawing or understanding of the graph task. It is therefore extremely useful in tasks where many graphs are needed for comparison to draw conclusions about the situation. All basic graph types are covered, with sections on the ability to add lines of best fit and extrapolate from data. Plotting from coordinate pairs, formulae and looking for correlations are all useful applications of this software. It is useful to look for anomalous results in Science investigations.

**Installation**

Installation on standalone machines was easy; the students installed it on the second machine themselves. It installed as a package on the RM Connect Network relatively easily and could be sent as a package around the network. Once set up, the shortcut worked instantly.

**Content** *Curriculum Relevance*

This package fulfils most of the ICT requirements for Maths. It can be used in all Strands, but is best aimed at the higher levels. It can be used to support Strands 1 and 4 or the Maths National Curriculum in Key Stages 3 and 4. It is best described as a tool for Mathematics because it gives students the freedom to test and investigate their ideas without them having to do all the 'grunt' work themselves, which too often means that they do not follow their ideas through.

*Design & Navigation*

The design is aimed at more able students - there are a large number of buttons on the toolbars. It is possible to remove the Stats tool bar or the Graph one, or to customise for a particular task. Very little assistance is needed to customise the toolbars. Good Year 9 students used this program after their SATs and they found customising unnecessary for the tasks that they were asked to do. Some students did customise the toolbars, but only to see how to do it. The tools are obvious from the icons and use mathematical language to describe their effect.

*Ease of Use*

This is easy for a teacher to use for demonstration to introduce topics. I found it particularly useful for Regions of Inequality and would use it in future to introduce the topic, as it allows me to produce accurate graphs for my students to look at, as well as demonstrating shading conventions and line patterns for < or <=.

Students appreciate the freedom that this program gives them to produce quick accurate graphs and also to check graphs that they have drawn by hand.

The reference manual is clear and easy to use, although the font size is a little small for some students and the presentation appears too crowded. Although there are exercises in the book, they did not support the Curriculum requirements for this class. I prefer to focus on the flexibility of the package which allows the Maths teacher to tackle a wide variety of tasks rather than just working through the support materials.

*Special Needs*

Although this package may address the needs of the gifted and able child, I was unable to investigate this as my classes were middle to low ability. The program can be used with a larger monitor for sight-impaired users.

*Courseware*

Accompanying worksheets give starting points for tasks and more sheets are available from the website, but I chose to use a more open-ended approach and allow my students to investigate. Courseware could be printed off as required. The network that I used the program on was not Internet linked.

**Conclusion**

This package is an extremely practical and useful mathematical tool and is an essential part of any Maths teacher's kit. It is not an all-singing, all-dancing piece of software designed to entertain users; instead it just gets on with the job, allowing students to investigate Maths in their own way by trying a wide variety of functions and formulae to see how they are graphed and to draw conclusions about the structure of the equations and the implications to be drawn by changing coefficients. The package is flexible enough to allow students to investigate 'What if?' questions. The program provides a practical approach to problem solving. Students can use it to try out new ideas, check results and process large quantities of data. One of its major advantages over other packages is its ability to plot coordinates as well as equations. Teachers can use it as a demonstration tool and a resource to prepare worksheets with graphs or accurately written equations. Any graph task can be tackled with this. The section on Statistics is thorough and covers a wide range of material.

### KS4 Classroom Evaluation by Beth Evans

**Summary**

If you can imagine four able pupils, tackling different topics. These students were Year 9, post SATS and were starting their GCSE work.

Group 1 were asked to investigate y=mx+c and present their results as a poster.

Group 2 were working on regions on graphs.

Both groups were tackling tasks that had been done in other years by paper and pencil method. They were working independently within the classroom, whilst other students worked on other tasks.

**Teaching with this Product**

Each task was allocated to a small group of able pupils. Both groups were given a basic introduction to the program. We had previously used Coypu, which had some similar tools and we could build on that knowledge; however one boy hadn't used Coypu and picked up the package quickly, as most of the icons are self-explanatory. The first session for both groups was a "get to know you" session where the students were left to investigate Autograph to see what it could do. They were not given their group task until the second session. They were then given the freedom to investigate and present their results in any way they chose. The only proviso was that the results were to be presented to the whole class. It is intended that this would be followed by a piece of coursework on Statistics in Year 10.

**Classroom Organisation**

One computer and a printer were available for each group; however, the emphasis was on content, rather than output. Other groups were tackling other topics; some of these were ICT related, others practical. The tasks were allocated randomly. At the end of this group of lessons the feedback included a session to show other students how to use Autograph and what it could do. This was peer led.

**Use of ICT to Achieve Objectives**

Both of the topics tackled are usually heavy time commitments in the course because of the time needed to draw the graphs and this allowed me to place the emphasis on understanding, rather the manual graph skills. This program allowed the students to produce graphical solutions to inequalities quickly.

**Using this Product**

I particularly liked the ability to save the graphs in a wide variety of formats - mostly we used bmp - to allow students to export their graphs and put them into their reports. The final products gave a professional result. I found it useful as a teacher's resource as well to produce more accurate worksheets.

**Monitoring & Assessment**

Since this was a short task, I assessed the outcome of the project. In Maths, the assessment was in the first strand and in ICT the assessment was focussed on communicating.

**Special Needs**

This package addresses the needs of the gifted and able child. It can be used with a larger monitor for sight-impaired users.

### KS4 Classroom Evaluation by Val Brooks

**Summary**

Due to the new coursework module for MA4, Handling Data, I decided to see if using Autograph would help speed up the production of statistical diagrams rather than use Excel for the diagrams as I have previously done. On exploring Autograph, I was delighted to see that it could not only produce histograms but also box and whisker diagrams, cumulative frequency diagrams, and produce values such as mean, median, lower quartile, upper quartile and even standard deviation and variance. Although the last two values are not in the GCSE Syllabus, the program would allow pupils to explore these if they wanted to extend their opportunity of gaining higher marks for their coursework.

I therefore devised a lesson whereby I taught pupils how to input raw data into an Excel spreadsheet, then copy and paste that data into Autograph to produce the diagrams and results, then copy the results into a Word document and then copy and paste the frequency table which Autograph produced from the raw data, back into Excel to be able to produce a pie chart. It took time to produce the notes I gave out to pupils but once I had those prepared and had gone through the lesson, pupils found it very easy to use the software and were delighted that they could produce such clear diagrams so quickly. We did, however, find some bugs in the software, which produced incorrect results, but support was quickly given after I had been in touch with the author of the software.

Having done all this, pupils could then spend more time on interpreting the results and data, and use the Word document in which they had already pasted results to continue their write-up for their coursework.

**Teaching with this Product**

The key teaching and learning objectives for this lesson were to enable pupils to produce clear statistical diagrams for their MA4, Handling Data, coursework for GCSE. Having introduced the topic of comparing the length of words in different newspapers, and collecting their data, pupils needed to find an efficient way of producing representations of this data from which they could interpret and form conclusions, test hypotheses, etc.

Each pupil had access to a computer and they followed my instructions in order to use the software. They were then able to work on their own data much more efficiently. I demonstrated the software using an interactive whiteboard so that I could actually show how to input data, copy and paste, and use Autograph to produce the diagrams. Pupils worked with me, taking each step at a time and thus allowing me to help pupils immediately to make sure they all understood. A flipchart on the computer that I made allowed me to clearly show the icons and boxes that they would see and need to access, and links to the software also allowed me to be 'live' on the board with the data. By doing this, pupils could easily follow the sequence of steps. If I had only used a computer with them all standing around, many would not have been able to follow, and if I had just used a projector but not an interactive whiteboard, I could not have shown what happened when asking them to do certain things. If I had not had the software at all, pupils would have had to spend a long time getting the data into a frequency table and drawing by hand the statistical diagrams they would need, so the software enhanced the production of diagrams enormously. Since pupils had collected more than one set of data, they were able to produce diagrams quickly so that they could make comparisons.

The preparatory work with the class was teaching how to draw and interpret diagrams, but in terms of the software, there was no particular preparatory work other than bringing their data with them.

**Classroom Organisation**

I used a computer suite with 30 machines, so each pupil had access to a computer. I also had an interactive whiteboard whereby I could demonstrate each action that pupils needed to do. By the end of the lesson, pupils had entered two lots of data and had begun to remember the sequence of steps to produce the required diagrams. They also had by then got a feel for the software and some pupils started experimenting to see what else they could do with the software. Since this was now a tool for their coursework, they were encouraged to use the computers available to them after the lesson time. Further lessons on this coursework enabled pupils to interpret the results produced by the software.

**Use of ICT to Achieve Objectives**

Since the drawing of statistical diagrams can take up much time, and coursework was only being given a two-week timetable, it was essential that pupils found ways of using their time efficiently. Autograph allowed them this time. Although some time had to be spent on showing pupils how to use the program, once they had mastered it, they were able to produce diagrams and results more quickly and therefore this program really aided their work. The diagrams produced were also superior to those produced by hand, and by being able to copy and paste into a Word document, it helped the whole presentation of their coursework. When writing up their work, pupils were then able to use other diagrams, such as pie charts from Excel. The diagrams could then be used to interpret the data collected and the students could draw conclusions, thereby confirming the hypotheses they had formed before they started.

**Using this Product**

I wanted to extend the use of the software by showing how diagrams and results could be imported and exported from Excel and Word so we were actually using more than just one piece of software. I did have to assume some ICT skills such as copying and pasting, and this was reasonable, considering I was teaching Year 11 pupils. However, even if pupils had not remembered how to do this, I did illustrate it as we went through, especially as at one point within Autograph we did have to use the system of right-clicking to paste data, and some pupils had not done this before. Also, towards the end of the lesson, I showed pupils how to import a table of results back into Excel so that they could draw a pie chart and I had expected them to be able to do this using the Wizard. Although one or two pupils were not sure how to do this, helping them at that point did not detract from the use of Autograph and it was easy enough to lead them through the Wizard within Excel. Other than these points, pupils had the required ICT skills and were able to continue writing their coursework in Word.

**Monitoring & Assessment**

The objective of these lessons was to demonstrate the use of the software, and this was made clear to pupils at the outset. Throughout the lesson, I was able to walk round the group and informally assess their progress because they were working 'with' me rather than just listening. I was therefore able to help and/or correct any problems before going on to the next point. Once we had gone through the process for the first time, I asked them to input another set of data and repeat the process so that I could again go round and help those with problems. I had also put together a summary sheet of instructions, and many pupils found those helpful, and did not require any further help from me.

Pupils were encouraged to save their examples so that they could look back at them if they had any problems with their coursework, and also they were told to keep the summary sheet. They did not print any diagrams at this stage as it was an introduction on how to use the software. Pupils now have a choice as to whether they use the program or not for their coursework, but most pupils certainly understood the reasons for showing them how to use this and accepted that it would help them produce good diagrams.

**Special Needs**

Although there were no specific needs in the group, had there been any, the program could have been useful. Producing statistical diagrams from data can be more difficult for lower-ability pupils, and this is one way to enhance their work. I have often found that some pupils with particular difficulties can handle software such as this, providing a sense of achievement to their work.